Friday, April 1, 2011

Mighty music!...

As I listened to the steady beat of the drums during the worship music at our church last Sunday, it reminded me of another Sunday about a year earlier...

The sermon had to do with Martin Luther and lessons from The Reformation. It was excellent, but here's what really grabbed my attention...

At the end of Steve's sermon, about 30 young men lined up on the platform and began to sing "A Mighty Fortress is our God"...

No instruments, just their strong voices blending together and when their volume increased as they reached the finale, it was all you could do not to stand up and shout!

And here's what happened...

As the men gathered to sing, the back doors all along the lobby began to open and people just streamed in from everywhere. I thought some big tour buses had arrived!

Most of them were young people. They had left their sunday school classes early, having already heard these men sing in the early service... they all wanted to hear it again!

Many of the younger crowd in our churches weren't raised on the great hymns of the faith that I was. It really caught my heart... it was as though they couldn't get enough! I know there will be all kinds of music in heaven...

I KNOW that, and I love the worship songs too, but I also am sure there will be many of these old hymns of the faith that I grew up loving... and I'm sure there will be drums too...


Kathleen said...

Many of today's worship songs are amazing, but there's something incredibly anointed & unequaled about the songs of yesteryear. My husband (a non-avid fan of all things church) LOVES the old hymns and always comments in the affirmative when they've had center stage at a service.

My personal favorite is: It Is Well

Anonymous said...

You are so right Sonja, there will be beautiful music in heaven. It must have been a beautiful sight to see and I'm sure that the singers were quite pleased as well.

Farm Girl said...

That is so cool, just thinking about it gives me chills. My husband used to be in a Men group and they would sing like that and it was always incredible. My kids get grumpy because they say that praise music is all about me, me, me and more power instead of hymns that praise God for Who He is. I overheard my kids discussing it the other day. I just remained quiet and let them talk. :)

Marsha Young said...

Wish I could have been there to hear it!

Sounds like a little foretaste of heaven. :)

Debra said...

Hi Sonja! I too love the old hyms as well, but I enjoy all styles of music except for rap and opera! So love the beautiful blue colors of your blog template!


Debbie Petras said...

I love many of the old hymns too! So many of the words have such rich meaning and come directly from Scripture. I was so glad to read that the young people came into the service to hear the men singing. I also love many of the contemporary songs. I can't wait to hear the music in heaven.

Love you sis,

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I ALWAYS WEEP at the sound of strong voices singing the older hymns. That is what I prefer at a Sunday service. Last Sunday, mostly contemporary songs were sung, as usual, but then an acapella HYMN was sung and THAT DID IT FOR ME!!! I could have run up there and joined in. But my voice is not the best! I think I shall dance instead, for the KING OF KINGS!!! Oh Sonja, you are so kind to come to visit my birthday bash. I WILL PRETEND YOU ARE AN APRIL BABY!!!!!! HAve a lovely weekend my dear!! Anita

Debbie said...

Oh I have a feeling that would have soo inredible to hear and witness. Yes I think there will be all kinds of music in heaven....worship that never stops. I LOVE that hymn....Have a wonderful week-end! HUGS said...

Oh I got chill bumps right at the point of saying 30 men stood up to sing! What an awesome sight and sound.
Yes, and yes, there will be hymns also. We now have a mix of praise and worship songs and hymns. I love that NOW I really understand the hymns, which I did not as a child or even as young adult.
My children are learning them in a new format, but they are hearing them and I am keeping them alive in our home.
I wouldn't exchange one for the other, and I know all will be in Heaven as we bow and worship before the King...doesn't that just give you chills also.

Oh to be honest...I may have stood and SHOUTED!!!

Debbie said...

I stand in complete and total AMEN to this post. I would have loved to be in that sanctuary and hear that sound.

That happens to be one of my favorite all time hymns. Like you, I enjoy new worship and praise songs, but I do not like letting go of the power that is in those faithful hymns of Martin Luther and Charles Wesley, Issac Watts and Fanny Crosby.

Our current worship leader keeps lamenting what he perceives as a lack of ooomph in worship. He overtly blames the congregation and keeps trying one new thing after another.

Not long ago, we celebrated the 100th birthday of our oldest congregant. In her honor, all of the songs that morning were old hymns of the faith. It was amazing the spirit that filled that place that day and the unabandoned way that people were singing.

Sometimes, something "ain't broke" nearly as much as we try to fix it.

Felisol said...

Dear Sonja,
I love the old hymns, most of all those who have survived centuries. In school we had to learn psalms (that means songs from the old church song book) by heart for six years. We had quite a repertoire when we finished school. Now children are hardly allowed to learn the gospel in school.
Both the Lutheran church and the Pentecost Church had lots and lots of wonderful songs, partly made in Scandinavia and partly translated from English.
I still love to sing along, even if I do not have a voice suited for song.
I feel cheated when I go to a meeting today and these two-liners,often sung in English,are all I get.
(It's called praising or worshiping, but the words and the lack of melody; doesn't feel right to me.)
Fanny Cosby grips my heart, her words gradually have become my words. I so remember Beverly Shea, one of my Dad's favorites.
It wasn't only the voice but the hymns which stirred the heart.
Hoping for a blessed Sunday for all of us.
From Felisol

Sandy said...

I just love music that glorifies the Lord,
be it the old church hymns or the new
contemporary worship music. I do have a
special place in my heart for the words of
Fanny Cosby though.
I enjoyed this!

Patrinas Pencil said...

That is so cool that the younger folks wanted to hear again. That makes my heart sing, as the kids today don't know the hymns. Things change but the hymns will last forever.

The thing I love about the hymns - is the fact that so many were written at great spiritual moments in the lives of the author. But they often speak Bible verses in the lyrics. I've always loved that about the hymns.

When God gives me a song in my heart or on my lips when I awake in the morning - or sometime throughout my day, It is almost always a hymn. I know what He's trying to tell me with that hymn - because it speaks His WORD over me. Isn't that cool that He uses what has been so fervently scribed upon our hearts since we were 'wee' ones.

TREASURES ...are the HYMNS!!

hugs to you from the North Star :)
Patrina <")>><

Crown of Beauty said...

I had goose bumps while reading your post. I love hymns, and particularly A Mighty FOrtress Is Our God is one of my favorites. Yes, there are great modern worship hymns, but they cannot take the place of the powerful hymns of long ago.

Thank you for this post, Sonja. Such a powerful post even in just a few paragraphs!


myletterstoemily said...

i wish i could have heard those men, as i love hearing men's
voices. how wonderful that the kids wanted to hear them,

won't the choruses in heaven be . . . heavenly?

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Here's to the hymns of my youth... my faith. Their theology is rich, and the stories behind them beautiful. I love my "Then Sings my Soul" books, which give much of the stories behind the words. Wish you had a recording of it.


Rebecca said...

Like several others who commented, I too got "goosebumps"! I actually think I heard it in my head, too. I SO enjoy hearing a men's chorus. Do you happen to remember the 16 Singing Men? We had several LPs of them in the house when I was growing up. Sure wish I could put my hands on one again!

It interests me that the young people responded this way. Kind of confirms something that God has been impressing on my heart....